JR “Mango” Robles
Joining ECSA two years ago was a big hurdle for me. I had never participated in organized team sports up to that point, so I joined with a high level of apprehension. Sports had never been a strong suit for me, and I was often ridiculed for such as a kid. Add to that being relatively fresh from a 16-year relationship where I wasn’t involved with the Seattle gay community, my anxiety was high. My assumptions of gay softball going in was either competitive jock ones or catty drama.
Then I met Mango. Mango exudes friendliness and confidence with just the right amount of sass for good measure. He made me feel comfortable and welcome immediately. With my lack of experience, he inspired me to pay attention and learn, but not get in my head; to just enjoy the game and ignore anyone who says otherwise. He’s the consummate cheerleader, motivator, teacher, and comedic relief anyone would be honored to have on their team.
My first year I also somehow volunteered myself to compete in Miss ECSA, which was terrifying in itself. Of course Mango competed as well, and being the old pro he is, reassured me it would be fun and ridiculous; to let loose, enjoy the shenanigans of the fundraiser, and throw caution to the wind because this whole ECSA community has my back.
To me, Mango fully embodies the spirit of the organization. If there was ever a need for an official ECSA mascot, it would be him.